FRANKFORT — The state auditor’s office has found a number of instances of inadequate record-keeping during its most recent audit of the county’s finances.
A report by State Auditor Adam Edelen’s office, released Tuesday, found the fiscal court had “failed to maintain supporting documentation for costs incurred on 55 small projects and one large project.”
The 56 projects are all related to repairs necessitated by the 2009 flood, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Under FEMA guidelines, files for each project are required to be kept in separate folders. However, when auditors attempted to review the files, they found “the county did not maintain folders for each project by project worksheet and did not have invoices and other required documentation to support federal funds spent.”
Auditors gave the county nine days to update the folders, then allowed three more days after that time had passed, to give the county time to update 10 folders which had been selected for review. However, according to the report, “The county was only have to provide one complete file.”
“These were for a road that required work on 13 different sites, in all totaling $99,843,” the report says. “The actual expenses per the invoices in the folder were $197,570. The county apparently spent $97,727 more on this project that allotted by FEMA.”
The report goes on to say the folder failed to tie any of the invoices in the folder to specific work sites.
County Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall’s office responded to the finding by saying the road required more repairs than FEMA was prepared to fund.
“The county maintains that the widespread devastation caused by the 2009 flood required additional funds to be spent in order to allow Floyd County Schools to reopen and repair all roads to allow school buses to safely transport students to/from school,” the county said in its response. “The county will meet with the road foreman and the applicant agent to insure that all required supporting documentation is maintained in accordance with the recommendations.”
As a result of the improperly maintained files, the auditor’s report says that the total cost of all the projects — over $1.1 million — have been questioned by FEMA, putting the county at risk of losing FEMA funding in the event of future disasters.
Auditors also made visits to three project sites, but “could not determine with certainty the county used the correct amount of gabion baskets on any of the sites.”
The report also notes several other problems, such as a failure to keep FEMA funds segregated from other county funds and that the county did not submit quarterly reports as required.